Inside Installations: Mapping the Studio II

Skip to main content

Letter to the Censors

Letter to the Censors deals with the theme of censorship, while also addressing the destruction of numerous cinema houses that were constructed in Cuba from the 1930s to the 1960s. The work relates to Garaicoa’s own childhood memories of being taken to the cinema with his brother. In an interview with Marc Spiegler he recalls how as a child his parents would leave him and his brothers in cinemas while they went to parties. ‘it was so beautiful because we loved movies’ Carlos Garaicoa quoted by Marc Spiegler in Artnews, March 2005, p. 99

Origin of Letter to the Censors

Carlos Garaicoa
1 mins 28 seconds

Read Transcript

The installation comprises a scale model of a cinema based on the La Principale, a grand old cinema to be found in the outskirts of Havana. The Cinema is supported by haphazard wooden scaffolding typical of those seen in Havana. Garaicoa tells of how in the early 1990s cinemas began to close in Cuba because of the shortage of electricity, it was something that people did not worry about at first thinking it was a temporary situation. However fifteen years on, these cinemas are still closed and many of the buildings have been used for other purposes or fallen into disrepair.

In this clip Tate curator Tanya Barson describes the relationship of the model to the architecture of Havana.

Architecture and the urban fabric of Cuba

Tanya Barson, Curator
2 mins 01 seconds

Read Transcript

The title Letter to the Censors comes from a song by Manu Chao on the album King of Bongo.

Photographs of a decaying Cuban cinema shown in one of the light boxes

Photographs of a decaying Cuban cinema shown in one of the light boxes

Photographs of a decaying Cuban cinema shown in one of the light boxes

Photographs of a decaying Cuban cinema shown in one of the light boxes
© Carlos Garaicoa
Click images to enlarge